As the prospect of over-the-counter spectacles that adjust at the turn of a knob make waves in the House of Lords, an Israeli company is doing away with dials and buttons altogether.
Within a few years, Deep Optics hopes to offer presbyopic patients a set of spectacles that can adjust between prescriptions themselves, based on what the wearer is looking at.
The dynamic focal spectacles will use a newly developed type of liquid crystal lens. They would not be the first to utilise liquid crystal – before filing for bankruptcy, PixelOptics offered it in its notoriously flawed emPower frames that adjusted with the push of a button.
But Deep Optics is the first to have a liquid lens with the optical addition of three diopters and a 30mm size, allowing them to cover any multifocal spectacles prescription, Deep Optics chief executive, Yariv Haddad, told OT.
Another selling point is the future frames’ sensors that tell them where the viewer is looking, allowing them to self-adjust their power by applying a voltage through the crystal lens.
Mr Haddad emphasised the benefits for future customers, from the ability of the entire lens to focus to the correct prescription power, to the lack of image distortion.
He said that dispensing opticians in particular might want to keep an eye on the technology.
He explained: “Optometrists would play quite a similar role to what they do today with known types of spectacles. Optometry prescriptions and sight tests would still be required.
“Dispensing the glasses and supporting customers may require one or two more skills and activities, such as programming the addition part for the first time and possibly adjusting in cases where addition changes,” he explained.
Mr Haddad said there is still a bit of work to be done before the high-end spectacles are ready for the High Street opticians. “I can’t say exactly when the product will reach the market, except roughly, in a few years,” he concluded.